Bundesrat vote on citizenship law scheduled for February 2

Bundesrat vote on citizenship law scheduled for February 2

After it was passed in the Bundestag on January 19, Germany’s new dual citizenship law has now been scheduled to go to a Bundesrat vote on February 2, for the penultimate stage of the legislative process.

Bundesrat schedules vote on dual German citizenship law

It has now been confirmed that the Bundesrat, which represents the German federal states, will vote on the country’s new dual citizenship law on February 2, 2024.

The new law, which passed through the Bundestag last Friday with 382 votes in favour, 234 against and 23 abstentions, will mean that people who have been resident in Germany for just five years will be eligible for a German passport

They will also be able to keep their original nationality and have dual citizenship. In cases where prospective citizens show impressive achievements in their work and speak German at a C1 level, they will be eligible to apply for citizenship after just three years.

Can the Bundesrat block the citizenship law?

The law is still expected to face criticism in the Bundesrat, namely from the CDU, which has historically been opposed to dual citizenship legislation. But unlike a case in 1999, when the Bavarian wing of the CDU, the CSU, opposed a citizenship law that had already been voted through the Bundestag, the centre-right party does not have the number of representatives it would need to block the law.

February 2 will also not be the first time that the Bundesrat members vote on the law, a draft version of which they passed - with the suggestion of certain amendments - back in October. After this vote, the law was sent to the committee stage, where amendments were debated and added, before heading to the reading stages and the Bundestag vote on January 19.

What’s more, since the dual citizenship law does not concern the budget or amendments to the German constitution (Grundgesetz), it is widely thought that Bundesrat members do not have the power to block the law at this stage. All things considered, coalition politicians are anticipating the Bundesrat vote on February 2 to be little more than a formality - but a necessary, penultimate stage in the legislative process.

If the Bundesrat approves, what happens next?

If the law passes through the Bundesrat without a hitch, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current German President, will then be invited to sign the draft into law. 

Since the law concerns nationality, it also includes a clause which rules that three months pass between when the law is signed and when it comes into effect. This is in order to give administrative bodies time to prepare for the new law coming in.

According to this timeline and the Bundesrat vote now confirmed to take place on February 2, this means that the new law should come into effect in early May 2024.

Thumb image credit: Mo Photography Berlin /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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